Matthew Battles (b. 1968) is a writer, artist, and associate director of metaLAB at Harvard University. He has written for The Atlantic, NeimanLab, Harper's Magazine and the New York Times. Battles is the author or co-author of six books, most of which are on the topics of writing or libraries. He was named a Library Journal Mover and Shaker in 2004. He has been called "a gifted stylist" by the Christian Science Monitor which commended his "beautiful writing about writing."
Battles also sees the institution of the library as more than just the building's contents. He headed a team which created a data visualization of the printing locations of books published in early-modern Europe, shown over time. He also worked with artist Sarah Newman on the video installation Your Story Has Touched My Heart which drew heavily on Harvard's photo archives. His "feral copyright project" at metaLAB looked into how copyright is lived and understood by regular people.
Battles was raised in raised in Petersburg, Illinois. He received a B.A. in anthropology from the University of Chicago in 1992, and an M.A. in Creative Writing from Boston University in 1996. He is married and has one son and one daughter.
- Library: an Unquiet History (Norton, 2003)
- Widener: Biography of a Library (Widener Library, 2004)
- The Sovereignties of Invention (Red Lemonade, 2012)
- The Library Beyond the Book (with Jeffrey Schnapp, 2014)
- Palimpsest: A History of the Written Word (Norton, 2015)
- TREE (Bloomsbury, 2017)
- "Matthew Battles". Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society. Harvard University. Retrieved 2 January 2020.
- Battles, Matthew. "Matthew Battles". The Atlantic. Retrieved 2020-01-02.
- Battles, Matthew (2000-01-01). "Lost in the stacks". Harper's magazine. Retrieved 2020-01-02.
- Battles, Matthew (2010-06-29). "Reading isn't just a monkish pursuit: Matthew Battles on "The Shallows"". Nieman Lab. Retrieved 2020-01-02.
- Battles, Matthew (2013-07-01). "How Writers Interact With the World". Opinionator. Retrieved 2020-01-02.
- Washburn, Michael (2018-08-01). ""Palimpsest" by Matthew Battles". BostonGlobe.com. Retrieved 2020-01-02.
- Journal, Library (2010-05-21). "Matthew Battles - Movers & Shakers 2004". Library Journal. Retrieved 2020-01-02.
- The Christian Science Monitor (2015-07-29). "'Palimpsest' beautifully charts the history of writing". The Christian Science Monitor. Retrieved 2020-01-02.
- Baldegg, Kasia Cieplak-Mayr von (2012-12-05). "The Explosion of 15th Century Printing: A Data Visualization". The Atlantic. Retrieved 2020-01-02.
- "At metaLAB, curiosity meets whimsy". Harvard Gazette. 2016-06-03. Retrieved 2020-01-02.
- "Your Story Has Touched My Heart". Harvard Art Museums. 2016-05-25. Retrieved 2020-01-02.
- Ireland, Corydon (2012-08-15). "Wedding digital with traditional – Harvard Gazette". Harvard Gazette. Retrieved 2020-01-02.